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Fraport Q3 Profit Up On Passenger Growth

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German airport operator Fraport earned more than expected in the third quarter, as a fourth runway at Frankfurt airport helped to increase the numbers of passengers it handled.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the three months to September rose 30 percent to EUR€317 million (USD$405 million), the company said on Tuesday.

Fraport cut its expectations for revenue in 2012 and said sales will not exceed EUR€2.5 billion, as previously predicted, because it is investing less in Bulgarian airports Varna and Bourgas as well as its Peruvian airport in Lima.

Investments in concessions are booked as sales under Fraport's accounting standards, a spokesman said. As the company needs more time to spend a mid-double digit million euros amount on those three airports it will book less revenue this year than it expected, he added.

The group reiterated its expectations for 2012 earnings.

The company is facing widespread protests at its Frankfurt home base because of increased traffic from a fourth runway. It has to spend more money on measures to reduce noise pollution than planned, leading it to predict profits at its aviation business will fall this year.

Freight volumes in Frankfurt have also been hurt by a night flight ban imposed at the end of October and by weaker economic growth due to the European financial crisis, with volumes down 8.1 percent in the first nine months of the year.

(Reuters)

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